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A contractor removing equipment from Diodes FabTech in the Summit Technology Campus in Lee’s Summit, MO, discovered a fire Monday afternoon in the company’s exhaust ductwork.

When the fire department arrived, light smoke was visible from an exhaust vent on the roof of the 540,000 square foot, mixed use facility. The building was in the process of being evacuated.

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Diodes FabTech manufactures and distributes computer chips. The company manufactures single crystal silicon to silicon wafers and wafer fabrication products for switching mode power supplies, video monitors, personal computers, cellular telephones, and automotive alternators applications. Diodes FabTech is no longer in production and a private environmental contractor is in the process of decommissioning and removing all of the equipment from the facility.

The fire was located in a section of 8- to 10-inch metal ductwork in the fabrication area. The contractor was using a saw to remove a section of stainless steel ductwork used to exhaust hazardous materials during the semi-conductor manufacturing process. After penetrating the ductwork, the inside of the ductwork ignited and started to glow red. The contractor attempted to extinguish the fire and called the Fire Department.
The fire remained contained inside the approximately 40-foot section of duct work throughout the incident. After obtaining product information from FabTech personnel, it was determined water was not the appropriate extinguishing agent. Firefighters made several openings in the ductwork and discharged multiple fire extinguishers to smother the fire. The fire was under control by 2:40 p.m.
The exact cause of the fire has not been determined. It is believed that sawing into the stainless pipe may have caused enough heat to cause ignition, or air entering the ductwork may have reacted with air reactive residue built up inside.
After the fire was out and air monitoring was complete, all of the buildings’ tenants were allowed to reoccupy the building.
There were no reported injuries or damage to the building.

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